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My cousin and I recently bought bikes. Our ultimate plan is to turn these bikes into cafe racers. His bike is a TMX 125 Alpha. Mine, a Yamaha YTX 125.
Why didn’t we pick the same bike?
Simple: We have different tastes.
Both bikes are fully functional since we bought them brand new. Each bike has its strengths and weaknesses. This comparison is for our personal use only and since I’m the one writing, you’ll probably notice that I’ll have a bit of a bias towards my own bike than his. It goes with the territory. Love your own.
NOTE: We’ll probably have a video soon but or now, READ. It’s good for you. It’s good for your brain. It’ll ultimately be good for your vocabulary. And no, I’m not an English Major. I just read a lot.
So…. on to the comparo.
In the looks department, the YTX wins hands down. Even my cousin says the YTX looks better than his own bike. The simplest way to put it is: The YTX looks more masculine based on it’s size and basic appearance.
The TMX on the other hand is a great base bike if you’re looking for something nostalgic. It’s also easier to customize since it is pretty much a bare bones motorcycle with lots of parts available in the market that fit.
The YTX, being a fairly brand new model released to the public still lacks parts available in the market. So, you might have to do a lot of digging to find something that fits your YTX.
The TMX wins this round. Again this is because there are a lot of parts out there made with the TMX in mind.
The YTX needs a lot of imagination to get it to look right.
Since my cousin bought his bike 10 days before I bought mine, It’s understandable that he has the lead on turning his stock bike into a legit cafe racer. Check out his Instagram page, you’ll see some videos of his build progression there.
That, and he has more money than I do. So, yeah, he wins.
So far, the only thing we’ve really done to my bike is change the handlebars, removed the carrying rack and chain guard.
My cousin’s customization list includes these items:
Changed the headlight
Changed the tail light
Changed signal lights
Shaved his seat to take on a lower profile
Spray painted his side cover panels
Installed new tires
Installed new gauge
Removed unnecessary items like carriage rack, chain guard, front fender
Some of his unwanted stuff find their way into my bike because it doesn’t fit on his
His basic idea of how he wants his bike to turn out is simply what Glenn (of The Walking Dead) would use during the Zombie Apocalypse while foraging for supplies.
Mine is a little bit more mainstream. Something Darryl would use to lure zombies and kill them off one by one. Nah, I just want my bike to look cool.
So, his is going to be more in line with what a tracker is while mine is most probably going to end up as a brat.
Both bikes are eventually going to look good when we’re done with our respective projects. Uhmmm I mean he’s going to work on our bikes while I provide the ever important role as a critic.
Our first test for our bikes was one a few hours prior to me writing this. I can’t seem to turn my brain off after the exhilirating ride we had. And we rode our bikes in the rain. Nothing was going to stop us.
He drove from his place, all the way south to my place all the way north. Let me see… that’s probably 30 km between our places. So, it was a good distance to try our bikes.
We ended up having to stay at my place for an hour to wait for the rain to let up. As soon as it became manageable, left and headed for SPMC where we were supposed to split up.
Here’s where the driving experience comes to play.
Both bikes handled pretty well on the slick roads. Getting to highway speeds was not a problem. Braking was also easy since we both have brand new bikes.
The difference in performance was as clear as day. The YTX being a torque-y bike was faster at accelerating. The TMX was faster on the straight away. This is because the YTX only has 4 gears whereas the TMX has 5. On the highway, I led the way.
The TMX is great at maintaining high speeds thanks to the extra gear leading to overdrive. The YTX on the other hand could only keep pace with the TMX. I could easily outrun the TMX by throttling the bike forward but maintaining the pace the TMX had was a different story. The YTX can maintain certain speeds and is at its optimal speed at aroun 50 to 60 kph. I haven’t tried any faster than that with my bike being new and all.
The TMX seemed most comfortable at around 50 to 60 without any signs of stress.
Accelerating on an incline, the YTX 125 performed better than the TMX simply by shifting down to the 3rd gear.
After SPMC we went to his place so I could test the LED signals he wanted me to have. We ended up trying other things with my bike. We removed my carrying rack which shaved off some weight on the back side. We also mocked up how the YTX would look like with a flat seat. If I was on the fence before, my mind’s finally made up and I’m definitely going with a lower profile seat now!
So, as a recap:
Both bikes look good based on what you plan to do with them and how you execute your plans.
The YTX wins in terms of reliability (starting whether by electric start or kick start), power and stability.
The TMX wins in terms of speed, high level of customizability and agility.
Both are equally enjoyable to ride.
Both bikes win if the things you consider are their individual strengths.
Anyway, that’s it for now. We’re headed for Samal tomorrow to try a long ride.